Gerald looked at me helplessly and I shrugged. I remembered now that the last time I saw Ashley, it had been three months ago. She’d been sitting in a park crying. Whatever had gone wrong then was apparently getting no better.
I called to her in the gentlest voice I could manage. “Mrs. Warner. Mrs. Warner? Ashley?”
My sister visibly fought for control. She pulled a tissue from her jeans pocket and dabbed at her eyes. She looked at me and reddened. “I am so sorry, Ms. Keith. Sir.”
Gerald smiled a little at the ‘sir’. “Just Gerald, ma’am.”
“What’s happened to get you so upset? What can I do to help?” I asked.
Ashley swallowed. “This past year has been awful. First my sister died. We’d been estranged. I can’t express the guilt I felt over that. And then – and then my husband contracted the Zoo Flu.”
My mouth dropped open. Ashley’s perfect parent-approved husband had been infected? Holy smokes.
I was in too much shock to react right away. It was Gerald who dropped to one knee next to my twin. “He survived?”
She nodded. “Ryan is a werebear now.”
Gerald patted her arm. “I’m very sorry. It’s a big blow when someone you love turns into one of us.”
Ashley’s head raised and her shoulders went back. In a firm tone she told us, “He’s alive, and that’s all that matters. I refused to divorce him, although everyone said I should. He’s a good man and a wonderful father.”
Whoa. The surprises just kept coming in faster and faster. I could well imagine my status-conscious parents being the ones to demand Ashley leave her husband. In fact, I could guarantee they had. And Miss Perfect and Obedient had refused them? Wow and wow again.
No release date set.